Pictures of Earth at Night From Space: Stunning Beauty & Concern
Watching Earth from 199 miles up has changed how we see ourselves, our cities and the planet, thanks in part to photos taken from satellite and by the astronauts at the International Space Station. As they’re staying ever longer up there, aerial photography has greatly improved. All that these recent photos have in common is that they’re all night pictures, but boy, aren’t they striking. They’re also surprisingly revealing and instructive about what’s going on down here. Hopefully, they’ll become valuable tools for raising awareness and change.
Credit should be given to NASA which, despite its current shoestring budget, still manages to wow us with some of their ongoing projects. One such program is the Earth Observatory, which is a comprehensive six-month study, using high-resolution night images of Earth, to ‘gain insight on human activity and poorly understood natural events.’
The now little government agency that still can often works in conjunction with other scientific research teams, such the National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA, as well as the European Space Agency. The ISS is also an integral part of such programs, as it orbits through different patches from satellites.
Whereas the Earth Observatory is a set study, the astronauts are free to photograph Earth following their own instincts. And photograph away they do, to stunning and quite meaningful results. Whether they direct (more) _______ Read Also: * Up, Up & Away
Sexing for the Rainforest & Saharan Sands Sweeping Over South America
There is no sin on the low side of the equator. The loosely translated sentence is from a 1970s Brazilian song that plays with preconceived notions about South America being a paradise of promiscuity, exoticism and wild animals. It should have said Norway instead. That’s where a troupe devised a novel way to support the Rainforest: having sex for it. As this peculiar notion penetrates the deep cavity of your brain, let’s add another piece of the puzzle: every summer, a Sahara dust cloud comes to visit the continent’s shores.
There’s obviously no connection between the two facts, except that they both relate to that massive tropical land, where Americans speak Portuguese and Spanish, and little English, and that seems at times to offer an odd counterpart to its big brother in the North.
Again, let’s make yet another detour. One of the pleasures of writing a blog is to set oneself challenges in order to tell stories that one hopes, can’t be found anywhere else. How we’re going to find a common sense between these two strands of narrative is today’s quest. You’ll be the judge as to whether we’ll manage it.
We keep collecting stories in a dusty file, any of which could strike our fancy and serve us well as a springboard to talk about our favorite themes. You know, life, the universe, and all the fish, issues we hardly know anything about and shouldn’t even be allowed to tackle. But why make it easy to ourselves?
We could always offer our absolutely worthless take on the Brazilian government’s new homegrown email system, an attempt to ward off spying from the NSA, Canada, everyone and their mothers-in-law, which according to recent files leaked by Edward Snowden, has been rampant for years. The spying, not the mothers. Or have they too?
We could also add our two cents to the apparent Latin American trend of digging up dead people. Nothing to top a good Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s story, for the record. But if it means to understand the Continue reading →
Among life’s little pleasures, few beat your favorite brew in the morning. If you’re not into tea, and it’s too early for a pint, then a cup of coffee is just what you need to get out and change the world. Or forget it and go back to bed. Either way, there’s some good and bad news about this precious little rite of yours out now. The good news is, coffee is not that bad for you. That probably won’t settle the argument about its merits, started when it was introduced in Europe in the 1700s. But there is such a thing as to over drinking the stuff, and we’re doing it. What’s bad about it is that it’s adding acidity to the Pacific Ocean. Talking about taking away those life pleasures, our healthier-than-thou society has already successfully subdued the once proud, now cast away contingent of smokers. We fear they’ll come for our coffee next. But we’re being paranoid, of course, for every day, this commodity moves markets and gazillions of dollars.
Still, as our voracious appetite and exploding population have been rapidly depleting the planet’s food resources, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to imagine a future when consumption of certain beans Continue reading →